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Fun Ab Workouts you can do at Home!

Abdominal exercises support your back to prevent and relieve back pain and increase your efficiency when working out by keeping your torso stable. Crunches are monotonous and only work your core from one position. By adding variation to your ab routine, you can create a fun workout that will tone your abs from all angles.


Boxing requires you to engage all of your ab muscles to keep yourself steady as you move. Boxing with weights will tone your abs, especially your obliques, while also elevating your heart rate to burn fat. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart, holding a 2- to 5-lb. weight in each hand. Sink into a small squat to lower your center of gravity, keeping your abs engaged, and bring both hands in front of your chest. Maintaining control over your movement, punch your right arm out across your body while you twist at the waist. Return to starting position. Repeat with your left arm to complete one rep. Perform three sets of 50 reps.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a great way to burn fat, tone your lower body and target your abs. Your core muscles are constantly engaged to stabilize your body as you go through the air. Stand with your feet together and begin jumping rope. Keep your shoulders down, your arms at your sides and your belly button pulled into your spine to keep your abs engaged. Land lightly on the balls of your feet for each jump, jumping once per revolution of the rope. Jump rope for 60-second intervals, then rest for 30 seconds. Complete 10 rounds of jumping rope, for a total of 15 minutes.
If you do not have a jump rope, mimic the movements without using the rope.


Yoga strengthens all the muscles of your body while it relaxes and refreshes you. Yoga works your abs because each pose requires balance, which activates your core.

Try the boat pose to target your abs. Begin by sitting on your yoga mat, with your legs in front of you and your knees bent, with the soles of your feet resting on the mat. Engage your abs and elongate your spine as you lean back slightly. Lift your feet up off the ground so you are balancing on your sit bones, using your hands for support, and hold the position for 60 seconds. Keep your back straight and your chest lifted for the duration of the exercise, and perform three to five sets.

As you get stronger, work toward straightening your legs in the air and bringing your hands to extend forward on either side of your legs.

Detox Dieting

Here is a good link for you about The Detox Diet.

Note: Detox dieting isn't for everyone, but it is one way for people to lose weight and shed unwanted toxins in a hurry.

The Obesity Epidemic

Here is a bit of conventional wisdom goes:

You don’t change people’s diets by telling them what to eat.

Nobody likes to be lectured on what’s good for them and what they should eat. But the truth is that we do tell people what to eat, every day, and we tell them the wrong things on a regular basis.

The problem is most of never listen. (This concept also works with smoking cigarettes.)

In 2010, American food companies spent $8.5 billion marketing food, beverages and candy to the public; meanwhile the American government’s primary healthy eating program was budgeted at $44 million. Food companies are telling people what to eat, and they are doing it almost 200 times louder than any attempt by governments to tell people to eat healthy.

So it is really no surprise that America's Obesity Epidemic now effects 34% of American adults.

On a global scale 850 million people go to bed hungry each night, so we know that the system is broken. America is fat and unhappy about their weight while children overseas are starving. It all seems silly, doesn't it?

People make personal choices. They see the marketing. They know they are being pitched advertising, but they CHOOSE to overeat because food is by its very nature comforting.

Junk food is artificially cheap, abundantly available and highly tempting for the most impressionable people — children and teenagers. It is too easy to choose the high calorie foods that make us fat... just look at Shoppers Drug Mart which sells weight loss items in one aisle and sells junk food / sugary drinks near the cash registers. Thus even if you are there to pick up something boring like Aspirin you still have to walk past the chocolates, candies and sugary drinks on the way to pay for your Aspirin. And some people just have a sweet tooth, too much money and can't resist the urge.

Heavy food processing is a win-win for multinational food companies. Processing and preservatives adds value and increases the shelf life of products, allowing them to be manufactured, distributed and sold on a huge scale. The corn syrup, cereals, vegetable oils, sweeteners and flavourings used in processing are often highly subsidized, making it financially beneficial for companies to replace healthier ingredients.

And corn syrup is the biggie. When you open a can of Coca-Cola its not really sugar in that water. Its corn syrup (which is essentially highly concentrated liquidized sugar).

Chances are likely that if you have kids and live in North America that they are addicted to corn syrup. Corn syrup is in most of the processed foods you find in a grocery store. You can find it on the ingredients label. Its called GLUCOSE. Its often the 2nd thing on the list of ingredients.

And glucose / corn syrup isn't alone.

There is also fats, trans-fats, saturated fats and other ingredients which aren't healthy for you. Some of them are even carcinogenic and cause cancer, but people keep eating them anyway.

Children and teenagers become hooked on the junk foods targeted at them. Processed food is generally cheap and therefore more available to poorer population groups, with negative health impacts disproportionately affecting women since more women are below the poverty line or comparatively poor.

And then there is picky children who just hate vegetables. They only want to eat sugary cereals like Frosted Flakes (private note: I was addicted to Frosted Flakes when I was 10 years old). So what is a parent to do? You buy the stuff you know your kids will eat because its better they eat something rather than nothing... and some parents just spoil their kids.

Meanwhile fresh and locally grown food is undercut and too expensive. It is forced out of business by multinational food processors. Even the organic food industry has become multinational. So really only people with lots of $$$ can easily choose to make a healthier decision. If you are poor and have kids to feed its a lot more difficult.

But it can be done. It just takes practice, discipline and smart budgeting.

#1. Don't bother buying organic unless you can actually afford it.

#2. Find local producers for your favourite foods and ask what it would cost to buy the food directly from them instead of from the grocery store.

#3. Use a notebook and collect coupons of healthy foods.

#4. Look for the sales on healthy foods.

#5. Learn what foods are actually HEALTHY, instead of just looking healthy. ie. Avocados are actually fattening, a rare property for a fruit.

You have a choice. You don't have to be part of the Obesity Epidemic. You can choose to be healthy, get lots of exercise and eat foods that are good for you.

Or you can choose to sleepwalk with the rest of the zombies into a growing obesity epidemic with alarming public health consequences. Diabetes and heart disease are just 2 of the big health problems.

There is also economic problems: Economic losses from obesity will reach 8% of China’s GDP by 2025. And that is just China, a country with a low obesity rate. Just imagine how bad the economy in the USA is where the obesity rate is 34% of adults.

In every person's life there is a time when they have to stand up and fight for what they believe in.

So the question is do you believe in sucking down corn syrup and dying an early death? Or do you believe your health care is worth fighting for?

300 Sit Ups per day for 365 Days

March 4th 2012.

Today I am embarking on a new challenge.

300 Sit Ups per day for 365 Days

Why? Because I want to have really nice abs and it is a completely doable challenge. Since the start of January 2012 I have been doing 300 to 500 jumping jacks per day as part of my cardio routine since I don't bicycle much in the winter and its more difficult to get cardio in the winter.

The thing about sit ups is that they're essentially just cardio, but they target the abs and core muscles (similar to yoga, a separate fitness goal of mine for 2012 which I will discuss in a different post).

The thing about sit ups is that they are a tad boring for most people... so here is a few things to do to make them more interesting.

#1. Find a song you would NEVER get bored of. Play that song once in the morning, once when you get home from work and once before bed. Do 100 situps during the duration of the song. That is my plan at least. I may even change the song from time to time depending on my mood.

#2. Make the sit ups more challenging by holding small weights.

#3. Add even more challenge by doing it on a reclined angle where your head is lower than your feet. You may want to research different ways to do this. Myself I am using the edge of my bed wherein my top torso is over the edge and I have to hold myself steady in the air whilst doing sit ups. There are also reclined benches you can purchase. Lots of options if you want a challenge.

#4. Add some kind of mental mind game to the exercise. Try to solve a riddle or a 1 minute mystery while counting your 100 sit ups. 1 Minute Mysteries are basically short mysteries with often funny answers.

ie. Robert and Carol and Stephen and Andrea all live in the same house. Robert and Carol go out to a movie, and when they return, Andrea is lying dead on the floor in a puddle of water and glass. It is obvious that Stephen killed her but Stephen is not prosecuted or severely punished.

Answer: Andrea is a goldfish; Stephen is a cat.

Just Google 1 Minute Mysteries and you will find hundreds of such little mysteries you can try and solve while exercising.

#5. Some people even like to read while doing sit ups. If it works for you, sure, just do it.

Other than that sit ups are really just something simple and easy you can add to your fitness routine. A 100 to 300 sit ups per day is all this is necessary for a good ab workout. You don't need to over do it with sit ups.

If you don't normally do sit ups or similar exercises you will notice significant abdominal strength increase over 1 month of doing them. If you're already pretty fit you won't see a huge change, but you will still gain the physical benefits of more toned abs and an easy to do (but short) cardio routine.

If you are suffering from a flabby tummy you won't see any weight loss from doing sit ups. To see huge fat loss you need to be running, cycling, swimming, etc. Ab workouts are really more for people who have already shed a chunk of fat and are looking to tone up their muscles.

Yoga = Weight Loss? How and Why

When most people think of yoga they think of meditation and various poses that look more like easy stretches and sitting crosslegged saying a lot of "Ommms."

That is the stereotype at least.

But when you first try yoga what you quickly discover is that the intensity of yoga varies but is ultimately quite the workout because your arms and legs will feel the burn as if you are doing an intense workout. (More so if you've never done yoga before.)

There are many different disciplines of yoga (my favourite ashtanga yoga, but that gets into a whole mental discipline and the physical movements of yoga is only one eighth of the practice), but regardless if you are doing yoga for exercise then the level of intensity can sometimes surprise you.

The end result is you end up burning calories, but how can this be for just a bunch of stretches and poses?

Well for starters you are burning calories just by breathing. Your stomach and lung muscles are moving constantly. With yoga you practice your breathing at the same time while making a series of motions, which initially will feel like cardio exercises (cardio burns calories!), but some of the poses are more intense on various muscles and those muscular motions burn extra calories too.

The end result is that yoga is a full body workout and burns a lot of calories.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is the most familiar form of yoga for Westerners, and the kind usually taught in beginner-level classes. Hatha yoga emphasizes breath control and flowing postures that are simple and easy to learn. You can expect to burn 175 calories per hour, or the same amount of calories you would burn by walking 2 miles in 1 hour.

Ashtanga Yoga (Just the Poses)

Ashtanga yoga poses are more intense than Hatha yoga, but still places emphasis on breath control and flowing postures. The typical class has a series of 6 poses that increase in difficulty. A typical Ashtanga class will burn 300 calories in 1 hour, or the same as walking 4 miles in 1 hour. Full Ashtanga Yoga also includes self purification, moral codes, breath control, withdrawing from the senses, concentration and meditation exercises. Most people don't do the full thing and only practice the yogic postures.

Power Yoga

Power yoga is a Westernized form of Ashtanga yoga, which moves quickly between poses to increase your heart rate. Because of this, most classes typically last 30 to 45 minutes, rather than 60. The calories burned are approximately the same as a full 60 minute Ashtanga class.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is usually combined with the Ashtanga form to create one dynamic class. The emphasis is placed on flowing from one pose to the next, particularly during the sun salutation. Vinyasa classes typically burn 445 calories per hour, or the same amount as jogging at a slow pace for 60 minutes.

Bikram or Hot Yoga

Bikram yoga, also known as "hot yoga," is performed in a room heated to 105 degrees and with a humidity of 40%. This guarantees that you will sweat a lot as you perform the 26 postures in a typical class. One session of bikram yoga burns 630 calories per hour, or the same as swimming the butterfly stroke for an hour.

Most practitioners who use yoga as their primary form of cardio opt for the higher-intensity classes and aim for making it to class 3 times a week, for a 90 minute session. If you want to burn calories while doing yoga, go for the more intense classes and work on "growing" or stretching into each pose constantly throughout the class.

Studies show that people who find an exercise they enjoy will stick with it and make it a part of their routines more readily than people who feel forced into exercise they don't like. If yoga is your favorite form of exercise, find ways to increase your calories burned and then make it your primary cardio routine. You will reap the added benefits of increased muscle tone, core stability and decreased stress as well as a vigorous cardio workout.

Many people also argue that yoga creates mindfulness of everything that you do outside of practice, this includes food choices. People who practice yoga tend to eat less, and make healthier choices for their meals. Yoga has also been shown to reduce cravings in between meals.

When someone starts practicing yoga they lose an average of six pounds in the first two months. Plus yoga builds strength and endurance in core muscle groups. The new muscle tissue leads to an increase in metabolism and more calories burned per day.

When beginners are ready to take it up a notch, more intense practices such as Ashtanga (or power) yoga and Bikram (hot) yoga, burn as many calories as an hour long jog!

Yoga is not only fantastic for strength, injury prevention, and flexibility, it's a definite path toward weight loss.

Plus the practice tends to attract people who are genuinely nice, and we all enjoy making new friends who are genuinely nice people. Its an added perk!
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